Pork Rind Politics

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Presidential Loyalties

Jimmy Carter is siding with countries identified by the State Department for human rights violations — when it comes to the United Nations' proposal to overhaul its Human Rights Commission. Carter told the Council on Foreign Relations that he promised Pakistan, Egypt and Cuba that "the United States was not going to dominate all the other nations of the world in the Human Rights council."

The former president says he called Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to complain that the U.S. insistence on keeping rights abusers off the panel "subverted" his promise. Carter now says, "My hope is that when the vote is taken, the other members will outvote the United States."

Panel Protest

Two Jewish members of an Illinois panel on hate crime have resigned, saying they won't serve alongside Claudette Marie Johnson, the minister of protocol for Louis Farrakhan's Nation of Islam. Johnson, also known as Sister Claudette Marie Muhammad, refused to criticize or distance herself from Farrakhan's comments at a Chicago rally last weekend, where he accused "Hollywood Jews" of promoting homosexuality and other filth, and blamed "Zionists" for manipulating President Bush into war.

The two commissioners called the remarks "incredibly insulting and racist" and said the panel will carry a "stain of bigotry" until Johnson repudiates them.

Signing for Dollars

The ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee is offering signed copies of a minority report by the committee in exchange for a $60 donation to his re-election campaign. On his personal blog, Michigan's John Conyers tells people the contribution will reserve an autographed copy of "The Constitution in Crisis" — which relies on the controversial Downing Street memo to accuse the president of "misleading" the country into the war in Iraq.

Conyers tells potential buyers that the money he receives will help return the House to the Democrats giving him, "the power to subpoena Bush administration officials to answer questions and face the consequences for their abuses of power."

Cheap Votes

The Mayor of Appalachia, Virginia, and 13 other residents have been indicted on charges of fixing the 2004 election using bribes of liquor, cigarettes... and pork rinds. A grand jury handed down 917 felony counts against the mayor, a town councilman, and a police captain, who is also accused of taking residents' property and seizing drugs for personal use.

Officials discovered the plot when one local woman complained to election officials that she'd been offered pork rinds in exchange for her vote outside the polling place. The pork product has become fodder for local jokes, but the prosecutor discouraged people from making light of the bribes no matter what form they took, saying, "This is not about the pork rinds. It was never about the pork rinds."

— FOX News' Aaron Bruns contributed to this report.